John’s Island Real Estate Company Unveils two TurtleTrax© Turtles

Posted by — August 25, 2005

John’s Island Real Estate Company Unveils two TurtleTrax© Turtles

Vero Beach, FL – You’ve heard about the cows in Chicago, the guitars in Cleveland and maybe even the horses in Saratoga Springs. Now there are turtles in Vero Beach. The John’s Island Real Estate Company is pleased to be the Presenting Sponsor of TurtleTrax, an exciting new charity event to benefit the Mental Health Association of Indian River County. In addition to being a major sponsor, the company is sponsoring two turtles that were unveiled on August 13, 2005 at the Sunset Saturday Jazz and Blues Night along Humiston Park in Vero Beach. Following the unveiling, the turtles will be placed on public exhibit on Ocean Drive in front of two prominent local storefronts-The Twig and Cravings.

The first turtle sponsored by John’s Island Real Estate Company, titled “Born in the USA!”, was designed by Romero Britto, one of the most important living artists in contemporary pop art. Recently seen on Donald Trump’s popular television reality show “The Apprentice,” Britto is well-known for his unabashed representation of life celebrated through vibrant colors and hard-edged compositions. His work ranges from original paintings to serigraphs and mixed media sculptures. Britto’s gallery, Britto Central, is located at 818 Lincoln Road in Miami Beach.

The second turtle is the creation of students from The Saint Edward’s middle and upper schools. Art students created several designs and voted on the 10 best submissions. Saint Edward’s art instructors Anne Whitney and Lourdes Cascaiari then selected the five most outstanding designs and sent them to the John’s Island Real Estate Company to select the winner. The winning turtle was designed by students Ebony Gunn, Ryan Portel and Jordan Wassell.

“On behalf of John’s Island Real Estate Company, I am very proud to be involved in the MHA’s TurtleTrax fundraiser,” expressed company chairman Bob Gibb. “My wife, Wheatie, and I enjoy our two exciting turtles that help unite business, education and the non-profit sector for the benefit of all of Indian River County.”

A United Way agency, The Mental Health Association (MHA) launched the TurtleTrax charity event as a way to bring community awareness to MHA services available to residents and businesses of Indian River County. MHA programs and services provide guidance for dealing with life’s hurdles. “The MHA connects people in need to solutions,” said Kris Sarkaukas, president and CEO of the MHA. “If we can’t help you, we know who can. TurtleTrax is a community-wide undertaking that benefits not only MHA, but also other charitable organizations and the business, artistic, municipal and educational sectors of our community.”

The first nest-full of six-foot fiberglass sea turtles began hitting the shores of Indian River County in June. Each turtle is sponsored by a local business or individual, decorated by an acclaimed artist of the sponsor’s choice and then publicly displayed in the community. The program has sold out with more than 50 sponsored turtles that will be displayed throughout the county until March 31, 2006. The TurtleTrax event will culminate in a black-tie Caribbean-themed gala on April 8, 2006 where the turtles will be auctioned to the highest bidder. Seventy-five percent of the proceeds from each turtle sale will benefit the Mental Health Association. The remaining 25 percent will be donated to each high bidder’s charity of choice.

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